London, July 3: British Major General Buster Howes of the Royal Marines has said that over time Somali pirates have become more intellectually cunning.
“They sometimes out-think us in terms of, ‘If we do this, what will they then do?’ They can certainly react more quickly than we can,” Howes, who leads the EU naval taskforce in the Gulf of Aden, told the Foreign Affairs Select Committee.
Howes, who is due to address the International Institute for Strategic Studies on the issue on, hinted at imminent military action “to erode the pirates’ sense of impunity,” Express.co.uk reports.
He said the targets would be the socalled motherships, vessels seized by pirates and then used as launchpads for new operations in deeper seas.
According to the report, Howes also said merchant ships should do more to defend themselves, even suggesting they carry armed guards, a move that would require a change in UK law.
Mark Brownrigg, director-general of the Chamber of Shipping, urged “strong military action” against motherships.
He told the committee that piracy had cost the world economy at least 4.5billion pounds.
Brownrigg said ransoms were now up to seven million pounds for larger vessels and that 440 crew members, mostly from developing countries, were being held. (ANI)